The lateral flow devices used in the community testing pilot in Liverpool only picked up half the covid-19 cases detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and missed three out of 10 cases with higher viral loads, according to the government’s own policy paper.1
Jon Deeks, professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham and leader of the Cochrane Collaboration’s covid-19 test evaluation activities, told The BMJ, “The results are hidden as a single sentence in the annex of a document. This is not the way important scientific findings should be made public, particularly when the test is going to be used off label with hundreds of thousands of people.”……..“These results are devastating—they are missing a third of those with high viral loads. How can these tests be used for safe entry into care homes, for healthcare workers to safely return to work, or for the safe return of students? They are not fit for purpose.”
Allyson Pollock, director of the Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science and a member of Independent SAGE, said, “This is scandalous. Where are the data underpinning the statement in the document? Mass testing should be paused until we see the evidence and Liverpool evaluation.”…“The Liverpool public who went for testing seem to have been grossly deceived and misinformed about the usefulness of the test and purpose of testing. They were not told that one of the purposes was research on the lateral flow test in healthy people.”
So I was curious…..
Where and what did the new Cabinet study?
The subject mix is firmly in favour of the humanities (57%) and social sciences (30%), with seemingly only one minister having studied a STEM subject, Alok Sharma, International Development Secretary, who studied Applied Physics.
Source HEPI (July 2019)
All italics and emphases are mine.